Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Melissa Vera- Adventures of Frugal Mom Blog

Melissa Vera of Adventures of Frugal Mom (photo by Curious Notions Photography)

Melissa Vera is the creator and contributor of four beautiful and informative blogs: Adventures of Frugal Mom, Champagne Style Bare Budget, Reading with Frugal Mom, and her most recent venture coming soon, The Writer and The Farmer.

Melissa— a 50-something mom of three young women (ranging in age from 25 to 18)— is happily married to her husband Raul (native of Mexico) of 25 years where they reside in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

She self- describes this moment in time as her transition into life as an empty nester.

When Melissa isn’t writing or interviewing women in business on her blog, she spends her spare time reading and crafting— among other talents and interests.

If you are looking for a blog that shares about travel, life in general, the three “M” words (Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood), everyday topics with an occasional recipe or craft thrown in then you have found the perfect blogger to follow.

She does it all! And is so good at what she does!

Listen to our recent conversation on Hodge Podge Podcast where we talk everything from North Carolina agriculture, blogging tips, DIY projects, raising children in the time of social distancing and so much more: 👂Podcast Interview with Melissa Vera

Follow Melissa on Facebook to learn more about her and her blogs!

https://adventuresfrugalmom.com/
https://champagnestylebarebudget.com
Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

20 Things I will NOT Take for Granted After Covid-19

If social distancing has taught me anything, it is to try my best to remain on a positive minded track.

Have I done this consistently? Nope.

I’ve had my meltdowns for sure, but through timeouts, interventions and prayer I find my way back.

Here is a list I wrote down to remind myself to remain grateful and positive with the hope that this phase of life will end and a new better chapter will begin.

20 things I will not take for granted after Covid-19:

1. Putting my son to bed on a school night with the reassurance of knowing we have the privilege of attending a FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL.

2. Dropping my son off at his elementary school where he has the opportunity to LEARN and GROW— and I have time to work on my own projects. Treasured time to myself (alone) in my home.

3. The ability to mindlessly and without worry walk through a store. Any store.

4. The luxury to go out in public— eat in a restaurant filled with people. To have the great fortune to attend theatre and music concerts. To walk through a bookstore or library and peruse through books.

5. Family time! We GET to spend time with our families in our homes. Go for walks, be silly, talk with one another about whatever we want! What a privilege!

6. To travel anywhere in my country I want, when I want, to see what I want to see because it is my right as a US citizen. WOW. (I can’t wait to hit the road!)

7. Each and every venue, store, school that allows me the opportunity to visit, read and sell MY children’s book!

8. The chance to take my son to a PARK, MUSEUM or PLAYGROUND.

9. The ridiculous privilege to sit on a public BEACH and soak up the sun.

10. The opportunity to volunteer and serve others in public.

11. HUGGING PEOPLE!

12. ANY person that works in public to SERVE OTHERS- doctors, nurses, emergency workers, retail workers, food service workers, postal workers, sanitation workers, etc.

13. The great fortune of being able to physically attend CHURCH SERVICES when and where I choose.

14. Having a solid, daily routine where I can run errands at my leisure.

15. Children. How lucky are we to have children in our world?!

16. Parents. Feeling so fortunate to have my parents alive and well. To be able to visit with them without worry of making them sick.

17. A husband to share a life with. And one with a stable, government-funded income (and health benefits) to support our family— without fear of losing everything we have worked for over the years.

18. Every comfort of home I currently possess at my fingertips that has made this transition easy when compared to others with much less. I will strive to not WANT things I do not NEED.

19. A sanitary life! The ability to own: Hand Sanitizer. Gloves. Masks. Hand Soap. Clean Water. Cleaning products.

20. SCIENCE. SCIENTISTS. RESEARCHERS. VACCINES.

Make a list of your own today. Reflect. Remind yourself this too shall pass and we will be better for it!

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Jeremy Fiebig- Son of a Preacher Man- Talks Sweet Tea, Shakespeare and Fayetteville, NC

Jeremy Fiebig, Theater Arts Professor @FSU and founder and artistic director of Sweet Tea Shakespeare Theater Group

Fayetteville, NC-

Jeremy Fiebig is the son of a preacher man who grew up in Missouri following in his father’s footsteps of an inherent love of the performing arts.

Cast of Sweet Tea Shakespeare youth cast (Green Tea) of the current production of Julius Caesar

Jeremy and I recently spoke on Hodge Podge Podcast about his life devoted to the performing arts.

We talk everything from sweet tea, Shakespeare and life as a theater arts professor at Fayetteville State University.

He gives the 411 on what’s coming to the stage of Sweet Tea Shakespeare— Fayetteville, North Carolina’s beloved and wonderfully talented theater group— and their new podcast on Anchor (which is AMAZING)!

Listen to our informative and fun conversation here on Hodge Podge Podcast:

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jeremy-Fiebig–Son-of-a-Preacher-Man–Talks-Sweet-Tea–Shakespeare-and-Fayetteville–NC-ebdeuq

For more information on Jeremy and Sweet Tea Shakespeare, look here:

https://www.facebook.com/sweetteashakes/

http://www.sweetteashakespeare.com/

The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours Podcast: https://anchor.fm/sweetteashakes

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Veteran Voices

New York, New York—

Poetic Theater Productions’ 5th Annual showcase of original work by veterans—Veterans Voices— expressing their experiences and stories from within and beyond the military will be held this coming Saturday, March 7th at 2pm at Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street, New York, NY. The event will feature theater, poetry and music. 

According to Eastern North Carolina native and veteran Omar Columbus— whose poetry will be featured at the event, “Poetic Theater Productions’ 5th annual showcase of original work by veterans, Veteran Voices calls upon the traditions of past warrior cultures such as the Greeks, Romans, and Native Americans, who welcomed their military home in rituals of storytelling.

Reviving these practices, military veteran artists take the stage to share their stories and experiences in a way that is both healing and informs others, sharing the moral burden of war.

Following the showcase, there will be a post-show discussion on the movement to support existing and new programming in New York which highlights veteran voices…

Veterans and students can get $15 discount tickets (just choose the veteran or student option when purchasing online)… And please know that any veteran that wants to attend will not be turned away due to a lack of funds.”

Omar Columbus, NC native, Photographer, Poet and Veteran

For more information on Veterans Voices and to purchase tickets for the event, look here:

https://poetictheaterproductions.ticketspice.com/veteranvoices2020

-Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

http://www.hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com

Author of the award-winning children’s book, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Jenny Bell- Go Fayetteville Blog, Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fayetteville, NC-

It was only natural my first post of the new year would be an interview with a delightful and brilliant woman who shares a mutual love of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The same woman who welcomed me with open arms nearly a year ago to be a part of Fayetteville Bloggers Network, a highlight for me in 2019 as it has allowed me to embrace my community and grow in new contacts as well as friendships with creatives and business owners who share our vision— and respect of this All-American City we call home.

Members of Fayetteville Bloggers Network and FACVB

Jenny Bell , Communications & Social Media Specialist for the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB), prides herself as a displaced Texan who proudly calls Fayetteville, NC her “adopted hometown.”

Jenny Bell proudly displaying her WRAL Voter’s Choice Award for her blog GoFayettevilleBlog.com

In her role with FACVB, she promotes Cumberland County as a tourism destination by leading the Fayetteville NC Blogger Network, managing the FACVB’s multiple social media outlets, and writing for the award-winning GoFayetteville.com blog (a fabulous resource for all individuals living in this area as well as potential visitors to our community).

https://www.gofayetteville.com/

Jenny Bell along with FACVB team members out promoting Fayetteville Woodpeckers at Segra Stadium Downtown Fayetteville (photo courtesy of Jenny Bell)

I have witnessed firsthand her passionate advocacy for our beloved community, where she also serves on boards and committees for area nonprofit organizations.

When Jenny isn’t busy working or volunteering, she is adventuring about Cumberland County highlighting the vast recreational opportunities, historic sites and businesses folks should be placing on their “to visit” lists.

http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/

Listen here to our fabulous podcast interview where we discuss all the awesome things happening in the Fayetteville Area.

It will surely make you say, “GO FAYETTEVILLE!”

👂 👉: https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jenny-Bell–Go-Fayetteville–Fayetteville-Area-Convention-and-Visitors-Bureau-e9mqtv

 

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Top 6 Inspirational Women Interviews of 2019

2019 brought me the opportunity to interview some extremely inspirational, intelligent and talented women who came into my life either professionally or personally.

It was such an honor to highlight their stories, and messages of hope. The world is filled with unique individuals that we can all learn from— I certainly benefited from each of the stories these women shared with me.

If you are looking for #inspiration in the #newyear look no further!

Here are the Top 6 Inspirational Interviews on #HodgePodgePodcast:

1. Katlin McFadden, Women’s Business Coach and Artist-

https://hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com/2019/11/18/katlin-mcfadden-marketing-virtuoso-womens-business-coach-brilliant-artist/

2. Tiffany Haywood, Award-Winning Blogger, Personality, Business Coach

https://hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com/2019/11/11/tiffany-haywood-milspouse-%f0%9f%87%ba%f0%9f%87%b8-mother-award-winning-blogger-writer-radio-tv-youtube-personality-business-consultant/

3. Donna Sager Cowan, Award-Winning Children’s Book Author

https://hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com/2019/11/07/award-winning-author-donna-sager-cowan-debuts-new-book/

4. Katherine Coule, Photographer

https://hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com/2019/10/27/katherine-coule-faces-of-fay/

5. Stephanie Starr, Multiple Sclerosis Warrior, Woman of Faith and Mompreneur

https://hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com/2019/10/23/stephanie-starr-multiple-sclerosis-warrior-woman-of-faith-mompreneur/

6. Wendi Iacobello, Military Spouse, Blogger

https://hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com/2019/05/18/wendi-iacobello-interview-nc-native-milspouse-advocate-creator-of-strength4spouseswoman-of-faith/

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Carolina Renaissance Festival

-Huntersville, North Carolina 👑

#CarolinaRenFest

My lady family and I attended the Carolina Renaissance Festival last weekend in support of my cousin Ivy Mackinson— a talented thespian in the Charlotte area, who is a performer with the annual festival.

When I was told we would be attending, I had no clue of the festival’s magnitude and the thousands of Renaissance enthusiasts who would be attending— as well as the caliber of highly talented performers.

I was completely shocked to find an entire Renaissance themed village set in a Sherwood-ish Forest 🌳 off a country road on the outskirts of Charlotte in Huntersville, NC.

I was impressed to say the least!

And could not believe I’d never heard of this magical place prior.

From the adorable structures to the amazing musicians, comedic jesters and more, it is surely a sight to behold and a real crowd pleaser! There is plenty of yummy food for all tastes as well.

Today is the last day of festivities for the season which runs each fall weekend from October through November.

If you’ve no plans today, put this place on your agenda!

Cook up your best Maid Marian or Robinhood costume, and spend the day in a lovely outdoor venue!

Ride a camel! 🤗

Hug a pirate! 🏴‍☠️

Dance with a darling mime!

It’s perfect for children and families with tons of attractions and performances to hold the attention of young tots.

And anyone who enjoys lovely nature, Knights jousting while riding horseback, fun shopping as well as a pint of cider or ale.

If interested in attending, look 👀 here👉 https://www.carolina.renfestinfo.com/

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.